Blasphemy: Kano High Court upturns Shari’a Court rulings
A High Court sitting in Kano has on Thursday upturned the convictions of Faruq Umar and Yahaya Aminu who were both slammed with heavy sentences by Shari’a Courts in the state for allegedly making blasphemous pronouncements against Allah.
Master Umar was 13 when he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by a Sharia Court on offence of using blasphemous words against Allah during a heated argument with a friend.
His conviction sparked a global outrage with over 120 volunteers, led by the director of the Auschwitz memorial in Poland offering to serve the jail term in stead of the teenager.
UNICEF, world’s children advocacy body also denounced the ruling, saying it negates the global child rights act that Nigeria was a signatory to.
The minor was convicted by Aliyu Mohammed, an Upper Shari’a Court judge in August 2020.
However, in his verdict on hearing the minor appeal, Justice Nasiru Saminu, discharged and acquitted the plaintiff on the basis that the lower court judgement is “worthless.”
In similar vein, the court has also reversed the death-by-hanging judgement placed on singer Yahaya Sharif Aminu by the Upper Shari’a Court, ordering a retrial, the BBC reported.
Mr. Aminu on August 10, 2020 was sentenced for for using blasphemous words against Prophet Muhammad.
The report noted that the judgements do not sit well with the overwhelmingly Islamic Kano residents and state attorney-general was muting the idea of appealing against them.
Kano is one of the 12 states in Northern Nigeria where Shari’a legal system is practised. Ordinarily, the law applies only to Muslim faithfuls but there have been instances where non-adherents have been brought under its tenets.
Lawyer representing both defendants, Kola Alapinni said his clients’ lives “will never be the same again”.
He disclosed that the musician, 22, is likely to remain in custody pending on when his retrial case will commence.
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